The Highland Park Education Foundation (HPEF) Board of Directors approved a $1.7 million grant request from Highland Park ISD that will help provide a 5% pay increase to district staff during the 2022-23 school year. The grant will mark the largest amount that HPEF has ever gifted to the district solely for districtwide teacher and staff salaries.
Funding for this grant is made possible by HPEF’s annual Mad for Plaid fundraising campaign and Tartan Endowment, which holds permanent funds dedicated to addressing staff pay and meeting the district’s greatest needs. The grant will pay for a 1% raise that will be supplemented with anticipated increases in tax revenue to the school district’s budget and allow staff salaries to be boosted significantly next school year.
“The Foundation is energized by this opportunity to strategically do more for our district,” said Michael Denton, HPEF board president. “While we will still have to fundraise the $1.7 million to meet this request, and we are confident that our community will rally behind next year’s Mad for Plaid campaign knowing the impact that it will have on teacher pay.”
During its May 17 meeting, the HPISD Board of Trustees approved a new compensation package for district staff that will increase salaries by a minimum of 5% for the 2022-2023 school year. Two percent will come from the commitment made by the district during the Golden Penny election; another 1% is available from new revenues generated by increased taxable appraised values through the four Golden Pennies. An additional 1% will come from other revenue sources and cost-saving measures, along with additional revenues generated by the district’s original four golden pennies in place prior to last fall’s election. HPEF’s gift will be approximately $500,000 more than the prior year and it is this additional commitment that equates to the final 1% increase in salaries.
“These gifted funds are a critical part of our current budget and represent the single largest gift received by the district,” said Bryce Benson, HPISD Trustee and liaison to the HPEF board. “The funding from HPEF, in particular, goes to our greatest need – competitive teacher pay for teachers and staff.”
The foundation’s 2021-2022 gift for teacher and staff salaries will be $1.2 million this June, in addition to a one-time gift of $375,000 that contributed to districtwide stipends earlier in the year.
“We are excited to show how much we value our current and future staff members by providing a competitive compensation package for all employees,” HPISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. “We are especially pleased to be able to announce this prior to the end of the current school year so that our staff members know in advance the commitment that many have made to increase their salaries.”
To learn more about the Highland Park Education Foundation, visit their website.